Rocks Rally from Five-Run Deficit for Walk-Off Win
Wilmington, DE - The Wilmington Blue Rocks produced their largest comeback win of the season on Saturday, rallying from a five-run deficit in the eighth inning to beat the Carolina Mudcats, 8-7, at Frawley Stadium. Dennicher Carrasco singled in Brewer Hicklen in the ninth inning to give Wilmington its second walk-off win in as many days. The Blue Crew have now won six straight this season over the Mudcats.
The game was a veritable Dickens-novel come to life for the Rocks. The seventh inning was the worst of times as Carolina scored six times courtesy of three walks, a bunt-hit an infield single and three clean knocks. Wilmington used three pitchers in the inning with Rito Lugo unable to record an out and Austin Lamborn registering just one. Josh Mitchell entered and at least somewhat limited the damage, stranding the bases loaded.
That set the stage for the best of times for the Blue Crew and their remarkable eighth-frame rally. Hicklen opened the inning with a double. One out later MJ Melendez chased strike three in the dirt, but the designated hitter hustled to first base and reached on a wide throw by catcher Payton Henry. Nick Pratto followed with a walk to load the bases and send Carolina deeper into its bullpen, as closer Rodrigo benoit entered.
Cristian Perez greeted him with an RBI fielder's choice that made it 7-3, but with two outs. From there it got really wild as the Rocks registered three straight two-out hits to draw even. Sebastian Rivero sent an 0-2 pitch into left that scored Melendez to make it 7-4. Then Colby Schultz lined another 0-2 pitch to right, scoring Perez to bring the Blue Crew within two. Schultz stole second and both he and Rivero came home on Michael Gigliotti seeing-eye single to right.
Tad Ratliff entered in the ninth for the Rocks and worked a one-two-three. That set the stage for Hicken and Carrasco. Hicklen lined a single to center, immediately stole second and cruised home on Carrasco's grounder up the middle.
The Rocks continue their seven-game, six-day homestand on Sunday against Carolina. First pitch is slated for 1:35 p.m. Tickets are available at BlueRocks.com and fans who don't make it to the ballpark can catch all of the action with the Voice of the Blue Rocks, Cory Nidoh, on 89.7 WGLS-FM.
PEBBLES OF KNOWLEDGE:
Wilmington earned its second walk-off win in the span of 24 hours and its sixth of the season. The Rocks did it thanks to its biggest comeback of the season. In order to produce that rally the Rocks equaled their season-high run output in a single frame, with five tallies. Saturday's bottom of the eighth marked the sixth time this season Wilmington has scored five times in a single inning. A frame earlier the Blue Crew yielded seven runs, which is the most they have allowed all year.
The Blue Crew lead the Carolina League with 38 games decided by a single score in 2019 and have played 57 affairs with a margin of victory of two-or-less. Wilmington is an impressive 40-17 in those close calls including 30-8 in one-run decisions.
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